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Reforming Asian Labor SystemsEconomic Tensions and Worker Dissent$
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Frederic C. Deyo

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450518

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450518.001.0001

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Labor Systems

Labor Systems

Social Processes and Regulatory Orders

(p.11) Chapter 1 Labor Systems
Reforming Asian Labor Systems

Frederic C. Deyo

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the internal tensions and dynamics of labor systems during times of reform and crisis by focusing on four critical transformative phases: social reproduction and protection, labor allocation, and the labor process. Corresponding to these four phases are four domains of government policy: human resource development, social policy, employment policy, and labor relations. If processes of labor transformation define labor systems structurally, their institutional or regulatory dimension refers in the first instance to the terms of employment, formal and informal, that specify the mutual rights and obligations relating sellers and buyers of labor power. This chapter locates the constitution of labor systems within the industrial and economic sectors of national economies. It also suggests an approach to understanding the diverse changes in the circumstances of livelihood and employment among Asian manufacturing workers over the past thirty years of industrialization, globalization, and market reform.

Keywords:   labor systems, social reproduction, labor allocation, labor process, employment, livelihood, Asia, manufacturing workers, market reform

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